Sunday, 22 January 2012

Self portraiture and Cindy

Photographer: Mark Griffiths
Cindy Sherman, 57,  is a photographer, director, model and actor.  She models and acts creating characters in her own photographic work, which are different from herself. They do not reveal her, they are entirely imaginary. Thus she has given a different meaning to the self portrait, which in her interpretation becomes a portrait with no self, a portrait of another enacted by 'her' self.  Her work  tends to explore fetishization. Cindy often makes images inspired by horror movies. She  has been described as quintessentially postmodern in her approach.
We all have our favourite photographers, Cindy is certainly one of mine.
If I have begun to take self portraits it is because I love Cindy's work. And in my self portraiture I do not wish to project myself. I love the idea of creating a character, of being different. I already do that through modelling for others, the picture I did with Mark Griffiths is a case in point but also those I  did with Caroline Michael. Only in those pictures I was fulfilling their vision.

Photographer: Caroline Michael
In my own portraiture it is my vision, rather than another's, that finds expression.
It is of course about identity. "How do I see myself?" turns into "what do I want others to see".
I do like photographing others. But I really prefer to work alone, creating my own pictures.
I have two shoots coming up, one with myself and one with a female model.
I am apprehensive, but am truly looking forward to both.

(All photos modelled by Alex B)


  1. I've always been apprehensive of about doing self-portraiture because I didn't want it to be construed as vanity work or uninspired, I guess. I would probably do a lot more work if I didn't feel so artistically bankrupt in trying it. It's like I'll think of doing something and think "no, that's really cheesy or lame" but then realize that there's plenty of other photographers/artists who use those techniques or styles and that I'm not giving myself enough credit for exercising them as a tool and not as a crutch.

    I'm really interested in bringing the concept of inhabiting character to my model photography, since I started as a filmmaker first. I'd like to find those illustrative moments that way. I get really burned out just shooting posing and fashion.

  2. Cindy is one of my favorite artists! She has indeed redefined self-portraiture; her work is almost a new sort of portraiture, exposing not herself but truths about being human.